Co 2020-21 Iggy Award Winner MPG (special again)
- Aug 15, 2011
St. Patrick's Day takes place on the anniversary of the death of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, who is thought to have died in 461. Contrary to what many may think, St. Patrick was not Irish—he was born in Roman Britain, in what is now England, Scotland, or Wales. At the age of 16, he was kidnapped and taken to Ireland to be a slave. During his time in captivity, he turned to his Christian faith. He escaped six years later, began religious training, and later returned to Ireland as a missionary. Some credit him with bringing Christianity to the country, but it is believed a bishop known as Palladius had been doing mission work there since 431. It is likely Patrick ministered to those who were already Christians, while converting others.
Many legends surround St. Patrick. One says he explained the Holy Trinity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit by using the three leaves of the native Irish clover—the shamrock. Years later, during the seventeenth century, the shamrock became a symbol of Irish nationalism and pride against British rule. There is also a legend that says St. Patrick banished snakes from Ireland. It is a snake-free island, but it had been before Patrick arrived. Some see the snake story as being an allegory for his banishment of pagan ideology.
Did Buddy Boeheim set a consecutive game scoring record? (Mike's Mailbox) (PS; $; Waters)
– College basketball’s postseason is a great time for Mike’s Mailbox.
In this week’s Mailbox, we’ve got questions about the ACC tournament, the NCAA tournament, high school all-star games and a look back on some of this season’s stats.
You had me diving into the media guide collection this week, so let’s get to those questions.
Q: Buddy Boeheim just scored 27 points and 31 points in Syracuse’s two ACC tournament games. Who was the last SU player to score 27-plus in back-to-back games?
Mike: Buddy Boeheim turned in two remarkable performances in the ACC tournament. He scored 27 points in Syracuse’s win over North Carolina State and then pumped in a career-high 31 in the loss to Virginia.
His 31 points were the most for any Syracuse player in an ACC tournament game. His 58-point total is the highest for any SU player in a single ACC tournament.
Now, Syracuse has been in the ACC since only 2014, so there is a limited history there.
But the question of the last time a Syracuse player notched 27 or more points in back-to-back games required a little more digging.
I only had to go back three years to find a higher point total in back-to-back games. In the 2017-18 season, Tyus Battle scored 25 points against Louisville and then put up 34 points in his next game against Wake Forest for a total of 59.
One year earlier, John Gillon had 64 points in consecutive games, which included his 43-point night against NC State.
New downtown mural hyped as ‘Mount Rushmore of Syracuse basketball’ (PS; $; Poust)
A new mural on East Onondaga Street that organizers are calling the “Mount Rushmore of Syracuse basketball” will pay tribute to local champions for their legacy on and off the court.
The six-story mural will feature four of the city’s most significant basketball stars: Breanna Stewart, Earl Lloyd Jr., Dolph Schayes, and Manny Breland.
Organizer Frank Malfitano said the players tell the story of a city that has adapted and evolved for the better, one that has established a progressive legacy of greatness and hope.
“All of them were pace setters, all of them are trailblazers, all of them have been social justice warriors, and all of them have fought the good fight,” said Malfitano.
Artist Jonas Never - whose portfolio includes tributes to Tiger Woods, LeBron James, Ronda Rousey and Kobe Bryant - will begin work on the mural in July. The Los Angeles-based artist will live in Syracuse for three to four weeks as he completes the massive canvas.
Syracuse basketball has legit shot to make March Madness 2nd weekend (itlh; Adler)
The competition in the NCAA Tournament is always fierce, and the event’s 2021 version carries on that annual theme for Syracuse basketball and the other 67 teams that were selected for the field on Sunday evening.
The No. 11 seed Orange, squaring off with No. 6 seed San Diego State this coming Friday night in a Midwest Region round of 64 battle, is a dangerous squad in the Big Dance, because its 2-3 zone defense is difficult to prepare for, particularly if a ‘Cuse opponent hasn’t played against this type of defense much, or even at all, during the season.
The Aztecs will present a formidable challenge for the Orange, because San Diego State shoots well from beyond the arc, and it also rebounds and plays defense at a high level. Still, I believe that the ‘Cuse has a terrific chance to upset the Aztecs and move on to the round of 32.
Looking at this region a bit more in-depth, it won’t prove easy for Syracuse basketball to make it past the first weekend, but it’s not completely out of the question. Frankly, I think that the Orange has a fairly decent draw.
Syracuse basketball is primed for a deep Big Dance journey.
The Midwest Region contains some familiar foes for the ‘Cuse, and a ton of excellent squads. If the Orange beats San Diego State, it could square off with former Big East Conference participant and No. 3 seed West Virginia in the round of 32.
Also in the Syracuse basketball half of the Midwest Region bracket are No. 2 seed Houston, No. 7 seed Clemson and No. 10 seed Rutgers. The ‘Cuse split with Clemson in 2020-21, and the Orange lost on the road to Rutgers by 10 points in the non-conference slate, albeit without junior shooting guard Buddy Boeheim.
Tramel: Can Cade Cunningham drive Oklahoma State down Carmelo Anthony Avenue? (oklahoman; Tramel)
America’s most ballyhooed basketball recruit in his class. And then played better than he was billed to be. Put up incredible numbers as a freshman.
Wore orange. On a college team unranked in the preseason that got hot late in the year and settled in at No. 11 in the AP poll going into the NCAA Tournament.
Led his team to the national championship.
You thought we were driving down Cade Cunningham Boulevard, but no. Carmelo Anthony Avenue.
Eighteen years ago, Carmelo led third-seeded Syracuse to a surprising NCAA title. Carmelo, now in the twilight of a glorious NBA career, was fantabulous in that 2002-03 college season, averaging 22.2 points and 10.0 rebounds a game. Not that much different from Cunningham’s 20.2 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.6 assists, while shooting 41.2% from 3-point range.
Cunningham was 18 months old in the Carmelo spring but knows all about it now and wants to repeat it. Cunningham’s Cowboys play Liberty at 5:25 p.m. Friday in the first round of the Midwest Regional.
Carmelo Anthony kisses the NCAA men's basketball championship trophy after beating Kansas 81-78 on April 7, 2003
“I’ve been saying I wanted to have a ’Melo type year since I got here,” Cunningham said Tuesday on an OSU Zoom call. “Crazy everybody saying it now.
Axe: SD State is ready for its NCAA closeup against Syracuse (PS; $; Axe)
Lack of respect is as tired a storyline as it gets in sports these days.
That said, one really couldn’t blame San Diego State if it plays with a little chip on the shoulder Friday night against Syracuse in the 2021 NCAA Tournament.
The Aztecs have bitten a little success off the NCAA Tournament apple with Sweet 16 runs in 2011 and 2014, but are ready for a bigger meal.
San Diego State was the last undefeated team in the nation last season. The Aztecs held a 30-2 overall record and a No. 6 ranking before COVID-19 shut down college basketball.
San Diego State, currently No. 16 in the country, went 23-4 this season, feature the nation’s second-best winning percentage the last two seasons and are riding a 14-game winning streak into March Madness.
“I was 30-2 last year, so I must have fallen off,” San Diego State coach Brian Dutcher joked this week of his team’s 53-6 run the last two seasons.
Dutcher is in his fourth season as the Aztecs’ head coach and has not missed a Mountain West championship game in that time. He is the only head coach in program history to win at least 20 games in each of his first three seasons.
Links, news and rumors - 2021 March 17 (RX; HM)
Links, news and rumors - 2021 March 17Filling out a last-minute tournament bracket? Check out this link from the NY Times: How to Win Your N.C.A.A. Tournament Pool
__________It starts not by picking bold upsets, but by looking at how your bracket challenge is set up...
The Boston College Eagles went 2-10 in ACC basketball play this season, and now BC has a new basketball coach. All told, the old coach went 27-96 (.220) in ACC play - ouch! Best wishes to the new coach, Earl Grant - it's not easy to win in this league!
Exploring the rich Irish heritage in Syracuse and the invention of the salt potato (PS; $; Searing)
With St. Patrick’s Day and Spring right around the corner, I find myself thinking about a few things in no particular order: my Irish ancestry, beer, and cookouts. Central New York, of course, has a rich history and proud traditions tied to each one of these subjects. Syracuse is home to one of the country’s richest Irish heritage communities, Tipperary Hill, and it hosts one of the largest Irish Festival’s in the United States every fall. The Irish tradition here stretches back more than two centuries, as Irish immigrants were one of the first groups to settle this area in large numbers.
They came first to work in the burgeoning salt industry. Later, they came to help build the Erie and Oswego Canals. The success of the canals brought more Irish immigrants to the region, and many of them found work in the booming salt industry as coopers, rakers, and boilers. Irish immigration to the country and the region exploded after the Great Potato Famine, which ravaged Ireland from 1845 to 1852. By the time of the Civil War, the Irish community was, along with the German, the largest demographic group in the city.
Now, all this talk of Irish immigrants, potatoes, and salt provides this historian with a perfectly delicious convergence. Without knowing it, the men that worked in the mighty Onondaga Salt Works provided us, their posterity, with a simple and sublime souvenir of their time and their toil: the salt potato. Tiny, tender, and smothered in melted butter, this briny side dish has been a mainstay of the region’s food scene and picnic tables for generations. They go with just about anything, but I recommend enjoying them with an ice-cold beer, both because it is delicious, and, as a nod to the hard-working and hard-drinking men of Syracuse who invented them.
The salt potato was born in the salt blocks of Syracuse sometime in the middle of the 19th century. At its peak in the 1870s, Onondaga County provided nearly 90% of the nation’s salt. As mentioned above, thousands of German and Irish immigrants flocked to the region to work in the “Salt City.” There were two methods of salt cultivation: the solar method (think Solar Street), and the boiling method. Evaporation produced “coarse” salt. Brine was pumped into massive “salt sheds” or “salt covers,” giant 16′x18′ vats built on two-foot pilings, and left out for mother nature to do her work.